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St Peter's

CE Primary Academy

Strive Beyond; Defy Limits

MindShift- metacognition and mental health

MindShift Curriculum Statement

Important achievements require a clear focus, all-out effort, and a bottomless trunk full of strategies. Plus allies in learning. – Carol Dweck

 

 

Definition of growth mindset: In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

 

Definition of a fixed mindset: People believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.

 

Curriculum Intent:

At St Peter’s CE Academy we strongly believe that MindShift (growth mindset) has a fundamental role to play in education and in creating reflective, cognisant and well-adjusted members of society with the ability to affect positive change in their communities. Following a period of academic research and discussion around the topic of growth mindset, we took the decision to make growth mindset our overarching pedagogical approach.

 

We strongly believe that having a fixed mindset leaves children more vulnerable to developing mental health difficulties. Children who believe that they do not have the potential to self-improve may feel more powerless, and thus be more vulnerable to anxiety and mental health difficulties. Countless studies have demonstrated that pupils who encounter difficulties in school often develop a devalued sense of self-confidence, which in turn, reduces their motivation to participate in and persist through academic challenges, creating a cycle of little motivation and low achievement (Morgan, Fuchs, Compton, Cordray, & Fuchs, 2008). When pupils deemed that outside factors alone controlled their success, they accepted less accountability for their achievements or failures- they felt powerless to change their ‘predestined’ trajectory (Jordan, 2010). Pupils with internal motivators (a growth mindset) felt more able to succeed academically and perceived more control through the process. 

 

At St Peter’s, we are committed to ensuring that all of our pupils learn within a community that promotes and engenders a growth mindset. From the moment children begin their journey with us, we focus on social and emotional development. We aim to ensure that all pupils:

 

  • Understand that intelligence is malleable. Children understand that intelligence can be developed rather than it being set in stone or pre-determined from birth. 
  • Cultivate grit. Children have a fierce determination and put in maximum effort- they seek approval from themselves rather than others and have a bottomless trunk of strategies.
  • View challenges as opportunities. Pupils at St Peter’s view failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a springboard for growth.
  • Value the process over the end result. Children enjoy the learning process and don’t view it merely as a means to produce an end result.
  • Can explain the benefits of MindShift (growth mindset) on their mental health  Children can explain the skills they need to be emotionally literate, self-aware and mentally well.

 

 

Curriculum Design (Implementation):

MindShift is embedded throughout all curriculum areas as reflected by the St Peter’s Learning skills- these learning skills define the requisite attitudes of a St Peter’s learner and are tracked through a progression grid. In addition to this, MindShift takes place three times a week in discrete, stand-alone sessions which last approximately 30 minutes. These sessions take place either as a whole school community or in a smaller class group. They are driven by ‘Meta-cognition’ (as described above) and mental health awareness. An example of the MindShift activities that take place at St Peters can be found below:

 

  • Philosophy P4C
  • Debate
  • Learning to Learn e.g. Chess, Time, Makaton
  • Mindfulness - Yoga/meditation, art
  • Talk Assemblies
  • Mindshift learning journal- peer mentoring programme with local grammar school
  • Ted talks
  • Theology and Philosophy
  • Vocabulary development – 'Don’t Say It, book club

 

 

Klassen Kage:

 

EEF: “…there is evidence to support the use of SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) as a means through which to improve a range of positive outcomes for children and young people. An increasing number of meta-analytic (e.g. Corcoran, Cheung, Kim, & Xie, 2018; Durlak, Weissberg, Dymicki, Taylor, & Schellinger, 2011; Sklad, Diekstra, De Ritter, Ben, & Gravesteijn, 2012) and other reviews have linked improvements in SEL with a range of favourable outcomes. These include (but are not limited to) improvements in self-perception and positive behaviour, reductions in emotional distress and conduct problems, school engagement, and academic attainment.”

 

At St. Peter’s one of the core components of our SEL provision comes in the force of a once weekly 30-minute Klassen Kage session. Klassens Kage, based on the Danish system of Klassens Time, aims to promote students’ engagement in their own mental development by increasing their knowledge about each other and themselves, and thus work for a better mutual understanding and acceptance of everyone – an aspect is to have empathy. In that way, they get a better insight into different perspectives and experiences of wellbeing both at school and in the world in general. What many don’t realize is that empathy is a learned skill. In the Danish education system empathy is considered as important as teaching Math and English, and it is woven into the school’s curriculum from EYFS. At St. Peter’s we strongly believe that empathy plays a key role in improving overall happiness. Within each session children share food to further deepen a feeling of togetherness.

 

All sessions always include:

  • Behaviours for learning within the class- what is a strength? What must be a class target? Do we need to resolve any conflict within our classroom?
  • An emotional check in- an opportunity for individuals to share concerns, worries and ask for support.
  • What the class are thankful for.

 

Additionally, these sessions may also include:

  • Strategies for self-regulation e.g. breathing techniques.
  • Sharing a story of inspirational individuals.
  • Discussion of topical issues in the wider world.

 

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